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Immigration Law

Can Technology Solve IRCC Backlog

November 14, 2022 by FH&P Lawyers

The words backlog, delay, and slow processing times are becoming synonymous with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The Government of Canada announced that 1.3 million applications in the system have taken longer to process than the industry standard, that being 54% of all pending applications in the IRCC’s inventory.

Hiring Spree

One of the solutions Sean Fraser, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has proposed is a hiring spree for the IRCC. He is seeking to hire 1,250 new employees by the end of 2022 to tackle the backlog crisis. Hopefully, this hiring spree will provide the support the IRCC needs to handle Canada’s goal of granting permanent residency to 430,000 in 2022. 

Modernization in the IRCC

On September 1, 2022, Sean Fraser also announced on Twitter that he is prepared to reduce wait times and address backlogs by modernizing the IRCC application process through the following:

  • exempting permanent and temporary residence applicants who are already in Canada from the immigration medical examination requirement;
  • transitioning to 100% digital applications for most of the permanent residence programs;
  • expanding online application portals for clients across the permanent residence streams;
  • updating the online processing time tools; and
  • modernizing the citizenship program by making it easier for people to apply for citizenship.

The Minister’s focus appears to be transitioning from paper to digital applications. Whether this solves the backlog issue the IRCC is currently facing, is another question. Though online applications can be more streamlined, it still requires a thorough review by the IRCC. If there aren’t enough officers to handle the number of applications, the backlog may just become digital, rather than paper-based. 

If you are seeking to apply for permanent residency in Canada and need assistance in navigating the application process and immigration law, please reach out the FH&P Lawyers LLP for a consultation.